BY SAMSON ATEKA
Duncan returns for 62nd KCB Rally in his Evo9
A bumper car entry will contest the next forthcoming FIA African Rally Championship round, the 62nd KCB Safari Rally 2014.
The ARC series has seen action in tIvory Coast (Rallye Bandama), South Africa (Sasol Rally), Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda (Mountain Gorilla) and most recently Uganda’s Pearl of Africa Rally.
These are all known to attract spectators in their hordes.
The Safari is the penultimate round of the continental extravaganza which culminates with the Madagascar International Rally on the weekend of November 7-9.
While locals will be driving for Kenya National Rally Championship points, ARC registered drivers including Kenya’s Jassi Chatthe, leader Gary Chaynes of Ivory Coast and 2012 champion Mohammed Essa of Zambia will be fighting for the coveted African title which was won by Zambian Jassy Singh last year.
Last year, Subaru clinched the Manufacturers Cup. Currently, Mitsubishi lead the competition with a paltry three points from Subaru.
The Kenya Motor Sports Federation organised Safari will no doubt be the toughest test of the season returning to closed private farm roads on September 12-14.
Entries for the event which also counts towards the sixth round of the KCB Kenya National Rally Championship (ARC) closed last Thursday with local and international drivers signing up for “the world’s toughest rally”.
As well as welcoming the crowd-pulling Proton S-2000 cars from Malaysia, the Mitsubishi Evolution craze, N-series Subarus, 2-WD Toyotas and Golfs and the three divisions of KNRC, the Safari will also host a clutch of talented classic car privateers and drivers competing in the S Class and SPV.
Alasdair Keith is the highest seed in the Supplementary category and has entered a Subaru GC8 of expired homologation, but he can expect stiff challenge from first rising newcomer Karan Patel who has given a good account of himself since making his KNRC debut in Kiambu.
In the 2WD category, Leonardo Varese will defend his. four-point championship lead from Gurmit Thethy.
Leo won last time out in Nanyuki and returns to the Mt Kenya region full of confidence.
The 2014 Safari will feature the most EvoXs ever. Ian Duncan who took a break after the Eldama Ravine is back with his Evo9 to chase a Safari diadem that has eluded him since 1994 when the event counted towards the WRC.
Runaway KNRC leader Jassi Chatthe will be hoping to further extend his point advantage at the top of the pile. His closest challenger is currently defending Safari and KNRC Champion Baldev Chager.
Carl “Flash” Tundo and Alastair Cavenagh hope to ruffle feathers in their Protons and become the first Kenyan drivers to enter S2000s in the Safari. Ugandan Jas Mangat returns to Kenya after contesting the 2013 Safari which he finished outside top 20 but second in ARC.
Courtesy of the-star.co.ke